After all the talk the time is finally here. Rashad Evans and Quinton “Rampage” Jackson will settle their long-standing talking feud. The event is not only home to the “grudge” match but to other interesting match-ups as-well.You can find the undercard preview and predictions here . Let’s take a look at the main card.
Quinton “Rampage” Jackson (30-7-0) vs. Rashad Evans (14-1-1)
Michael Bisping (18-3-0) vs. Dan Miller (11-3-0)
Antonio Rogerio Nogueira (18-3-0) vs. Jason Brilz (18-2-1)
Todd Duffee (6-0-0) vs. Mike Russow (12-1-0)
Diego Sanchez (21-3-0) vs. John Hathaway (12-0-0)
Fight No. 1: Diego Sanchez (21-3-0) vs. John Hathaway (12-0-0)
Diego Sanchez is making his return to welterweight to face off against John Hathaway. This will be his first fight since his TKO loss to B.J. Penn, he will look to bounce back with a win at welterweight.
Diego won’t have it easy, he will have to capitalize on his perceived wrestling advantage. I would give him the slight edge, but Hathaway definitely has the stand-up advantage.
Diego should no doubt look to get this fight to the ground. He won’t be able to stand with Hathaway for three rounds, he should look to pick his spots well. Hathaway will be looking to keep it standing. Sanchez should bait him into swinging wildly, leaving Hathaway vulnerable for take-downs.
John Hathaway will look to make a statement against the veteran Diego Sanchez. This will be the biggest test of Hathaway, he is coming off an impressive win over Paul Taylor.
Diego Sanchez will be looking to put Hathaway on his back. Hathaway knows this, and he will plan accordingly. I don’t think he will get baited into fighting Diego’s game, he is a smart fighter.
The stand-up of Hathaway is where is biggest edge will lie. He needs to make sure his spacing doesn’t leave him susceptible to being taken-down. Hathaway should be smart with every strike he throws, maybe even looking to take Sanchez down should he be too aggressive with strikes.
Prediction: Everyone’s perception is that Diego will just pound Hathaway into the mat, and I don’t think that is the case. I think the talent difference of these fighters are very close, with the slight edge going to Sanchez.
This will be the first time Hathaway fights on another continent. Fighters seem to have trouble traveling long distances and that could be the case on Saturday. I don’t think it will, as I have Hathaway winning a closely contested fight. Winner: John Hathaway - Decision (Round Three)
Fight No. 2: Todd Duffee (6-0-0) vs. Mike Russow (12-1-0)
Todd Duffee will grace us with his God-like presence…Kidding.
Duffee is looking to continue his perfection, after his demolition of Tim Hague at UFC 102. Duffee has had a short career, but has shown flashes of brilliance in those fights.
Duffee should look to keep it standing against the wrestler Mike Russow. Hard hands and quick combos make a deadly team, and that’s where Duffee’s advantage lies.
Mike Russow should look to get this fight to the ground. While Duffee isn’t the most tested striker, his power alone makes it dangerous to try to test. Russow’s best advantage is if the fight makes it to the ground, preferably with Duffee on his back.
Since Todd Duffee will look to keep this fight standing, I would bait him into throwing punches with a take-down in mind.
Prediction: This will be an interesting fight. Todd Duffee is coming in with a lot of hype, and we will see if it is warranted on Saturday. This will be a tough matchup for Duffee as he is fighting a wrestler in a three round fight. Any mistake could cost you round and subsequently the fight. Winner: Todd Duffee – TKO (Round Two)
Fight No. 3: Antonio Rogerio Nogueira (18-3-0) vs. Jason Brilz (18-2-1)
Antonio Rogerio Nogueira was supposed to face-off against Forrest Griffin until an injury sidelined the TUF alum. He will now take on Jason Brillz.
Nogueira looked brilliant in his TKO win over LHW contender Luiz Cane. He will look to continue his six fight win streak at UFC 114.
This fight could take place anywhere and Nogueira should have the advantage. He has faced far better competition than Brilz and this fight should reflect that. Anywhere this fight goes, Nogueira will be a threat to finish the fight.
Jason Brilz is stepping in for the injured Forrest Griffin. This will be the biggest test of Brilz career. He is coming off a decision win over Eric Schafer and will look to continue his success, even as an underdog.
Jason Brilz will have to fight a smart fight to be able to beat Nogueira. It will not be easy to finish a tough as nails fighter like Nogueira. I think the only way Brilz wins is via decision, and that’s not likely.
Predicition: This will be Antonio Nogueira’s fight to lose. Jason Brilz is a competent challenger but isn’t on the same level as the Black House fighter. Winner: Antonio Rogerio Nogueira – Submission (Round Two)
Fight No. 4: Michael Bisping (18-3-0) vs. Dan Miller (11-3-0)
Michael Bisping wants to come back for a win after his decision loss to Wanderlei Silva at UFC 110. This should be a stylistic matchup in favor of Bisping.
Bisping should look to avoid the dangerous ground game of Dan Miller. Michael Bisping has shown that his forte is he mixed bag of strikes. The strikes of Bisping may not be dangerous, but he is efficient enough to deal out damage.
I think there is no doubt that Dan Miller wants the fight to go to the ground. Bisping should look to “sprawl and brawl” and avoid take-downs. Bisping doesn’t get too wild in his punches. Bisping should be technical enough not to get sloppy and get taken-down.
Dan Miller will be in his sixth UFC fight, winning his first three, and losing his last two. Miller is looking to bounce back after decision losses to Chael Sonnen and Demian Maia.
It is known that Miller’s best chance comes if he gets the fight to the ground. A submission win is the most likely scenario of a Miller win, and that requires him getting the fight to the floor.
Dan Miller will need to show he has improved handily if he thinks he can win. If he hasn’t improved that this is Bisping’s fight all the way. If Miller has worked on his striking game that would help his chances tremendously.
Prediction: Unless Dan Miller WOW’s us with improvement, this is Michael Bisping’s time to show he is an elite middleweight and not a gatekeeper.
I will be honest, I hate Bisping and hope Miller has improved tremendously. But, Bisping is the clear favorite to win this fight. Winner: Michael Bisping – Decision (Round. Three)
Fight No. Five: Quinton “Rampage” Jackson (30-7-0) vs. Rashad Evans (14-1-1)
Quinton Jackson will return from his one year film vacation at UFC 114. Jackson’s last fight was a decision win over Keith Jardine at UFC 96.
Jackson’s best bet will be to use his powerful fists as his primary weapon against Rashad Evans. I think that Quinton holds a slight edge in technical striking, but the slight edge in power goes to Rashad.
Jackson will want to avoid the ground-game as that’s where he is most vulnerable. Quinton should look to “sprawl and brawl” and try to avoid getting into Rashad’s type of fight. Quinton will look to keep the fight in his favor, as he takes on the better grappler/wrestler in Rashad Evans.
Rashad Evans has been stating his case as the No. 1 contender ever since he was KO’s by Lyoto Machida. Evans is coming off his win over Thiago Silva at UFC 108, and will to continue his fight back to the belt.
Rashad has the luxury of one the sports best coaches Greg Jackson. Rashad will no doubt be the smarter more prepared fighter on Saturday. I am looking forward to what his gameplan might be.
Rashad will probably look to get this fight to the ground as this is where he has the biggest advantage. He has deceptive power in the stand-up. But since “Rampage” is a one-dimensional fighter, that may not be the be the best road to travel. I see Rashad trying to capitalize on his ground advantage.
Prediction: I think Rampage has too many things going against him in this fight. It has been over a year since his last fight. He will be at a disadvantage stylistically as Rashad is the better wrestler and equal striker. Rashad should have too many tools to lose this fight. He will be the more prepared fighter and that will show at UFC 114. Winner: Rashad Evans – Decision (Round Three)
Well, that's the end of the UFC 114 Main Card Preview and Predictions. Tell me, what do you think?